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How Valerie Bertinelli Said Goodbye to 'Soulmate' Eddie Van Halen Before He Died: 'No Greater Love'

Valerie Bertinelli says that Ed was the one she loved more than any explanation could give. She shares their love story in Enough Already, Learning to Love The Way I Am Today. This excerpt is exclusive to this week's PEOPLE.

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How Valerie Bertinelli Said Goodbye to 'Soulmate' Eddie Van Halen Before He Died: 'No Greater Love'

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"Maybe next. "Maybe next time.

Valerie Bertinelli, in tears, said that to Eddie Van Halen when he was dying from cancer in the latter 2020.

They had almost forty years of "love and anger, frustration, friendship and friendship" together and raised Wolfgang, a son they loved. Wolfgang died at 65 on October 6, 2020.

Bertinelli says, "I loved Ed more that I know how to explain." I loved his soul."

The Food Network star, 61 years old, tells the story about how she lost her "soulmate" in her memoir Enough Already: Learning To Love the Way That I Am Today. This excerpt is exclusive to PEOPLE.

She writes that they were mismatched in their early years. "The bad boy rock star and America’s sweetheart, but Ed was not the person people believed him to be. I didn't believe that either."

Valerie Bertinelli, "Enough Already: Learning To Love The Way I am Today"

Credit: Mariner Books

Their love was strong but their marriage was turbulent at times. She says, "I hated the drugs and alcohol, but I never hated him." "I saw his pain."

They shared a bond even after their 2007 divorce. As they remarried in later years, it grew stronger as Eddie's cancer progressed.

He came to her house on Thanksgiving Day 2019 and asked her to talk privately. After finding a quiet spot in the car of a friend, he gave her a small bag containing a pendant-sized bar of gold that he had purchased while undergoing cancer treatment in Germany.

He told her, "I hope it doesn't seem strange, you know, I bought my ex wife this gift but didn't give my wife anything," and he was overcome with emotion. "I just love and care about you."

She writes, "He wants to let me know that he made mistakes during our marriage." "I was also a part of our problems and I'm sorry."

Valerie Bertinelli

Credit: Brian Bowen Smith

She and Wolfgang spent the last weeks of her life in hospital together. Eddie was surrounded with his family, Janie Liszewski and Alex Van Halen.

They were there for him during his final moments.

She writes that "I love you" is the last thing Ed says to Wolfie.

RELATED VIDEO - Valerie Bertinelli Pays Tribute To Eddie Van Halen: "See You in Our Next Life My Heart"

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She regrets that she didn't allow her husband to be close when he was so ill. Both were married at that time (she to second husband Tom Vitale, a financial planner, and Eddie Liszewski).

According to the Hot in Cleveland alum, both marriages were failing.

She writes that "there is no way we are going back together," but she does not know "but I do believe if one of us opens up, the other would too, and I don’t want to get into it."

Bertinelli now that he's gone acknowledges that it may be difficult for others to grasp the complexity and depth their relationship.

She says, "I cannot explain the feelings Ed had for me." "Who would have known if he hadn't died? I doubt it. He was my best friend and I loved him more that I can explain. There's nothing sexual about it. It was much more. Ed and I both understood that."

She adds, "There is no greater love between us than the one we shared and with that we made this beautiful boy."

However, their closeness was not a factor for her decision to file for separation with Vitale in November.

She says, "We grew apart." "The decision does not reflect my love for Ed. I wish Tom all the best, and I know that he feels the exact same about me.

Bertinelli writes about Eddie and how it has helped her live in the present. She also talks about her struggle with weight and judging herself.

Bertinelli, now host of the 11th season Kids Baking Championship, says that "the book is more vulnerable than any other I've ever written."

She hopes that it will be helpful to others who are sometimes caught up in her struggles. She says that sharing makes us feel less alone.

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